Update! Westminster Employees Team Up to Sew Masks for Health Care Workers
Update: Anne and her team have distributed over 800 masks to health care workers and facilities in our community, and are now working on medical grade masks in collaboration with doctors from the University of Florida. Click "Read More" to see new video and list of recipients.
When elementary art teacher Anne Heetderks saw the need for masks among health care workers, she knew she could help. With fabric, a design and her sewing machine she got to work. Soon her husband, Doug Heetderks, and daughter Elise, joined her by pleating the masks, adding elastic bands, and more. As other employees and Westminster families heard about what Anne was doing, an assembly line grew, each taking a portion of the task. So far, her team has made and delivered more than 200 masks, with at least another 400 in the works. Every day her team of volunteers grows as does the demand.
“This is an outstanding example of Westminster’s core values of excellence and innovation,” said Scott Jones, Westminster’s Head of School. “It is also evidence of the great creativity and compassion of our teachers and families. We are grateful for Anne's leadership in this effort and for the involvement of many of our team members.”
They come either lined or unlined, and can be used as covers, prolonging the life of masks that need to be reused. Doctors, nurses and other health care workers who are part of the Westminster community have been the first recipients, and are helping Anne and her team get the masks in the hands of those that need them most.
"My wife and I would like to thank Mrs. Heetderks and her crew for making and delivering 26 masks to the nurses at my wife's job," said Kurt Fedee, WCS Network Support Specialist. "All the doctors and nurses were extremely appreciative, especially my wife. As a husband to a nurse I am very grateful!"
Heetderks has also developed a series of videos to demonstrate the process for those interested in joining the assembly line, or for those who like to replicate her team's efforts, expanding the source of masks for health care workers.
Just a few of the people and organizations that have benefitted from the masks:
Pinecrest Pediatrics, Sunset Pediatrics, Physicians to Children, Catholic Health Services - St. Ann's Nursing Home, Jackson Health System, Baptist Health Systems, Kendall Regional Hospital, Pediatric Professional Associates, Patches PPEC Medical Daycare, Nicklaus Children's Hospital, University of Florida Medical School, Assisted Living Retirement Homes, University of Miami Pediatric Medical Clinic, Miami VA Healthcare System, Agape Women's Center, East Ridge Retirement Village, Mt. Sinai Cardiac Cath Lab, The Palace - Homestead Nursing Home, Urgent Care Clinics, Giardino's, South Miami Hospital, and more!